This is a sales call: How to start prospecting calls with integrity
“Hello. Looking for Sharon Morgen?’
“Sharon DREW tomorrow.”
“What? Sharon Morgen?”
“No. Sharon Drew
“Um. Hello. Are you Mrs. Drew?’
“Mrs Morgen. This is me. Is this a phone call?’
“Um. Hello. No. I’m from XYZ Bank and I’m going to call you for a favor.’
“About what? I do not do business with you. And you should not call me for telemarketing. So what type of service do you offer for free?’
“Well, it’s not free. But we thought you might want to know about our new banking services.’
“A. So this IS a sell call.”
“We’re not allowed to say that.”
This call really happened.
Years ago, I lost a lot of business because I advocated telling prospects, “This is a sales call.” For some reason, the sales director was horrified that I was going to announce that this was a sales call. Who would potential customers think they are talking to? Their wife? Their mother? Relative? Friend? I’m a stranger, obviously. And why should I call them? I would be from their child’s school, reporting a problem? Or from the neighborhood, with a report of a house on fire? How about a cleaning person tell them I lost their new suit?
What’s wrong with telling prospects you’re making a sales call? They’ll know it anyway when they don’t recognize your voice. It will also be obvious because your opening remarks will probably sound awkward – like a stranger calling another stranger.
But it doesn’t have to be.
NO NAME, NO TIME
Let’s start with the name game. Dale Carnegie recommended that salespeople repeat the prospect’s name because he believed that people like to hear their own name. Whether this is because telephone systems in 1937 were not that good, or because this is a common belief, is no longer the case. When we really know someone, we rarely use their name. Intimacy means you never have to say someone’s name – there’s just that eye contact that people have or a special way of saying “Hello”. I am.”
Of course you use people’s names – I’m being a little tongue-in-cheek here – but not repeatedly during the same conversation, and not often when you know someone well.
When you overuse a prospect’s name, it becomes a ploy to manipulate them into liking you so that you can fantasize that you are their friend and convince that person that you want or have a RELATIONSHIP.
But it’s not true. Hearing their name repeated by a stranger makes potential customers feel even more alienated.
And what about the assumption that they’re sitting there waiting for that call, with nothing else to do but take the call – even if it’s a bank they work with or a charity they’re donating to?
What is it about a sales call that makes it all about the seller? What does it do for the product? Why is it even a sale?
Why not make the sales call – even the prospecting call – an aspect of your brand? A way to show your potential customers that you support them and your product through collaboration (not sales)?
FEAR OF COLD CALLING
Let me backtrack for a moment. I have trained many thousands of traders; On one hand, I can point to the number of people who have eagerly sought out cold calling (I’m one of them. I LOVE it – what fun! What a great way to meet people!). Why? Because sellers don’t want to impose themselves on strangers. Because you believe prospects don’t have time or care. Because you get rejected. Because your ego says that potential customers should call you.
But none of this has to be true. Let’s look at the parts and then move on to find out how each can be mitigated with ease of purchase.
Imposing on strangers
When you call a stranger (either prospects or customers referred to you by a previous salesperson), they don’t know who you are, of course, and you have no connection to them. By definition, you are imposing. Also, you are calling to get something for yourself and you are actually trying to get something from them. Whether it’s to “get” them to listen to you, or buy something from you, or do something for you. It’s not like you’re calling them to give them a million dollars: you want them to do something, like listen to you, or buy from you, or make a difference for you in some way. So you want something from this person.
But this person is a stranger. Why should that person give you anything unless they are already predisposed to want what you have? Remember that before anyone does anything (different or otherwise) they have to decide to do it. And all decisions are based on specific, unique criteria, not information. So all the information in the world you might have to share is irrelevant if the person doesn’t know how to decide what to do with it.
Your prospect is obviously not sitting by the phone waiting for a call from you. He/she is doing something. Whatever it is, he/she is doing something. To earn the right to use some of that person’s time, you must request it and communicate why you need to use their time. Asking if it’s a good time to talk (not the same as saying “Do you have a few moments?” – the implication here is “do you have a few moments FOR ME.”) will help here.
Why are you getting rejected? Because you are trying to get something from this person that YOU want to get. And they say no.
What does “no” do? This causes suspension. There is no way forward when saying no; the person who is the skeptic holds the power in every relationship.
As long as you keep trying to get your needs met by cold calling, trying to get someone to listen to what you have to say, trying to get someone to buy something – even an idea – you will continue to be rejected by all of these people. who are consciously unaware of the need for what you insist upon.
When you get lucky and get a positive response, it will be from those who have already identified a need and then you become a commodity. You better have a “good price” for those people who will take your call, because they won’t know how else to choose you once you join the ranks of similar providers.
USE BUYING FACILITIES TO SUPPORT MUTUAL AGREEMENT
Using buy facilitation as the basis for the call will not mean taking anything, selling anything, pushing anything, or even understanding anything. Your job is to:
1. support the other person to recognize if something is missing in the category your product can support and if so, how to start the process of designing a solution that will solve their problem (yes, even cold calling, you can help the prospect of starting a complex sales process);
2. help them discover their criteria for judging whether it’s time to fill a gap by doing something they haven’t done before.
It’s not about you, or your product, or what you offer. Until or unless the buyer admits that what they are doing isn’t working and is willing to do something different to fix/change the status quo, nothing you say will be heard. Remember: people don’t make decisions based on information.
Using Buying Facilitation, your job is to help people make the necessary decisions that will support the change they need to go through to do something different from what they are already doing.
Use your cold calling to help people decide. And start the conversation by reaching out and inviting people to collaborate with you:
Caller: “Hello. My name is Sharon Drew Morgen. This is a sales call and I’m selling sales training. Is this a good time to talk?”
By using this opening, you tell people who you are and why you’re calling, tell people you respect their time, let them know you’re an honest person, say exactly what you’re calling about, and not tarnish their name (in any way the name you have in front of you is either never the right person or never the right name). And just one thing I’ve found to be true: unless you’re calling from a brand name company, you don’t need to say your company name – they won’t recognize or remember it.
If the person says the time is not right, ask if there is a better time to call back. Don’t try to rush information – just ask if there’s a better time. If the person says they have a few minutes, say:
“I appreciate the weather. And if the conversation takes longer than you have time to finish, we can end at your convenience and pick up at another time.”
By doing so, you give the person permission to control the call. After all, they control things anyway. By using this opening—in fact, it’s the first step in the Ease of Buying Method®—you’ll have already dealt with the timing and enforcement issues and the opt-out won’t apply to you.
And don’t forget: call to help them make discoveries and solutions. Don’t use your time to push something. Otherwise, you’re wasting a great opportunity to land a new customer and showcase your brand of integrity.
#sales #call #start #prospecting #calls #integrity